World Poetry Celebrates KEEP TALKING from Kodiak, Alaska!








Keep Talking – A Must See Documentary!

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the World Premiere of director Karen Lynn Weinberg’s debut documentary KEEP TALKING at the Vancouver International Film Festival, October 5th and the great privilege to interview the director and team on our radio show , the World Poetry Cafe on CFRO 100.5 FM. Sadly the station had a technical error and did not archive the show. I am hoping it can be corrected.

KEEP TALKING  has the power to reach out to all the peoples of the world, First Nations and others concerned about the many endangered languages of the world. When the language goes, the culture follows since it is entwined, leaving the people with emptiness. The film shows that knowledge and learning create empowerment! A must see documentary. Twitter @KeepTalkingFilm


KEEP TALKING follows the story of Sadie who was able to transform herself from a troubled youth to a future language teacher and a dancer-a bright light in the world.

This well done documentary was special experience for me since we lived in Kodak, Alaska and to be able to see it on film after so many years.

Here is some more information on the film: from:

It follows four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language now spoken by less than 40 remaining fluent Native Elders. Their small community travels to remote Afognak Island to start teaching kids Alutiiq. At the camp, Sadie, a troubled teen, is inspired to begin learning the language and dances of her ancestors. Over the next 5 years the women overcome historical and personal traumas to find joy and hope in the revitalization of their cultural heritage.

The film is the directorial debut of film editor and producer Karen Lynn Weinberg, who previously worked on films including Spilled Water (2014), Racing Dreams (2009), and Frozen River (2008). After traveling to Kodiak, Alaska in February of 2012 as a film instructor, Weinberg learned that her editing class was made up of culture bearers working to preserve their endangered Native language. A filmmaker with a passion for language, Weinberg was thrilled when the Native Village of Afognak consulted with Elders and agreed to allow her to film their first attempt at a language immersion camp. As filming continued over the next five years, Weinberg immersed herself in Alaska Native history, with a focus on Kodiak Alutiiq history. She studied endangered language revitalization challenges, methodologies and rewards.

UNESCO estimates that at least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. National Geographic estimates that one language dies every 2 weeks. The tide of globalization, assimilation and intolerance continues to erode the linguistic landscape of our modern world. It is Weinberg’s hope that this film brings greater empathy and understanding to the unique challenges and surprising rewards of language revitalization in action.

KEEP TALKING is directed and produced by Karen Lynn Weinberg, executive produced by Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn and Betsy Steinberg, co-produced by Trish Dalton, Rachel Rozycki and Kari Sherod. Cinematography by Nara Garber, edited by Lesley Kubistal. Produced by Ten Trees Productions, Kartemquin, and Vision Maker Media.

Kartemquin Films

Note: An article will also be published in the AFRO NEWS in the near future. Please  support this documentary!

11 thoughts on “World Poetry Celebrates KEEP TALKING from Kodiak, Alaska!

  1. Jonathan Billet

    “Academy Days”

    Green planets and purple suns.
    The silent, dead majority, has the runs.

    Dreaming eyes glow.
    Neptune’s love grows.

    Living in a circus’ puns.
    With summer suns.

    I am stuck in the town of Monson, with the white walls.
    And prep school halls, at the Academy.

    Fighting brawls.
    Breaking out, underneath the shining waterfalls.

    I have been dead in bed.
    Once, in a dream book, I read.

    A world, that wasn’t well fed.
    While creature despots led.

    Jon Billet

  2. Jonathan Billet

    I Have been mentally ill for 42 years. Through no choice of mine and not to my liking. Although I could enjoy my moments of lucidity with more joy and appreciation than the “normal world,” could ever hope.
    I say, “Power to the mentally ill’s evolutionary force!” May the world, “Live long and prosper.” if it can
    survive the harm it does. I don’t care, I have, “Lust in my dick and love in my heart! “- From the notes of an
    above ground skits. “Who more full of himself than his sh*t is.”-Love Jon Billlet

  3. Jonathan Billet


    Thanks for the happy smile.
    It lifts a sad world a mile.

    You make my melancholy sky, a jolly one.
    A yellow rising sun can be fun.
    Makes the tearing fountain pen run.
    Living life can be a complex pun.

    A mind’s quick rush induced high.
    Black and orange butterfly floats by.
    Poetry’s pumpkin’s pie.
    Below the sky.

    Dew drops ascend into the clouds.
    The singing song maker endows.
    Like you, to me, with your heartfelt vows.

    Tomorrow’s borrowed time, today, will never go away.
    Always to stay.
    To love you for another day.
    All in the way you speak what you say.
    In your heavenly sent wordplay.
    Spoken to me, last Saturday.

    On Jon Billets’ Birthday In May.

  4. Jonathan Billet

    “Nightmare In A Telephone Booth”

    Went to see my therapist at 2 a.m.
    Late night jobs ended at Macy’s.
    Rorschach and word association testing.
    Lying on the couch, I fell into a deep dream.

    Drowning in a telephone booth.
    Drinking green Irish coffee.
    A dime for a phone call.
    Sixty cents to be kept fed.

    A windowless room, called jail.
    I sail out of my dream into a stream of consciousness.
    My psychiatrist goes to sleep in my dream.
    I fly to heaven through the clouds on a Gossamer’s wings.
    To me she sings.
    Of Saturn’s golden rings.

    A New Year’s Saturday morning it brings.
    I wake up alive.
    From my analyst’s dream.
    The solution to this night.

    Leave the country.
    In a midnight flight to Canada.
    Where guns and knives have no lives.

    Jonathan Billet

  5. Jonathan Billet

    Thank You for the space to write. Even if nobody reads. I communicate with the lonely universe I live in partially. Don’t mean to bug you or cast shadows over you. Only want to give you cosmic laughter and joy, if you can tolerate it. LOVE YOU- Jon Billet

  6. Jonathan Billet

    “Old Age”

    I’m growing older as you’re living younger.
    I get tall as you seem small.

    My many gains, are not the losses.
    You live with my bosses.

    Stars gleam.
    On old jute box and cigarette machines.

    They glisten and glean.
    Inside my old bar scene.

    I saw on yesterday’s television screen.
    I’m really a thirteen year old teen.

    Going through your puberty at such a speed.
    I can’t even read.

    The right is the apocalyptic sleep’s, blind light.
    They are uptight about they’re upcoming flight.

    Our lives are measured in mornings and nights.
    Days of sights.

    Speed’s might.
    I try to write.

    Jon Billet

  7. Jonathan Billet

    “Dismal Beauty”

    I’m growing older, as you’re living younger.
    I get tall, as you seem small.

    My many gains, are not the losses.
    You live, with my bosses.

    Stars gleam.
    On old jute box, and cigarette machines.

    They glisten and glean.
    Inside, my old bar scene.

    I saw on yesterday’s television screen.
    I’m really, a thirteen year old, teen.

    Going through your puberty, at such a speed.
    I can’t even read.

    The right, is the apocalyptic sleep’s, blind light.
    They are uptight, about they’re upcoming flight.

    Our lives are measured, in mornings, and night.
    Dyslexic’s days of sight.

    With Winter’s abysmal, candlelight.
    I’ll try and write.

    Jon Billet

  8. Jonathan Billet

    Heaven’s Above”

    I told your white lie, in the heavens above, to the clouds’ sky.
    Which let out a loud cry.
    Flying in a song bird’s lullaby.

    Down south, in the green coral covered sea.
    You were kneeling, by the shore, on bent knee.
    Wanting to fly free, like me.
    An impossibility, in what seemed to be.

    There will never be any other you.
    We were once, one in two.
    Stuck together, like epoxy’s magic glue.

    Star crossed loving.
    In yesteryear’s spiraling ocean’s front door’s floor.
    Twisted and windy, in a dream, overflowing,
    Our love was apparently growing.
    The heavens appeared to be knowing.
    Always preferring, never showing.
    This past of ours,
    In its turning spin, is slowing.

    By Jon Billet- Revamped- 08.22.16

  9. Jonathan Billet

    “First Of May”

    Mailmen are arriving, everyday.
    Sun keeps shining.

    Love goes its own way.
    With my mind, you play.

    Life,will always stay.
    For the latest day.

    sundae, of the first month.

    A monday’s tenth of June.
    Which left very soon.

    It came at night.
    Arriving at noon.

    Under, an empty moon.
    Eaten. by a Gulliver’s’ measuring spoon.

    A resounding tune,
    played by pipe organ, and bassoon.

    I am the flying loon,
    bathing in heaven, where it was always, seven.

    Down below, it’s eleven.
    Always drinking, from a golden spittoon.

    March, April, and Southern red, dirt clay, slip into June.
    January’s February, seconds of afternoon.

    Slow they go.
    Nighttime’s dawn, sleeps early.

    The hours stay, in the months of the day.
    I’m hoping for an early, raining May.

    Forever, staying…
    Never going its own ways!

    When the lover plays,
    minuet clock’s, slowly, passes the foggy, clouds of haze.

    Jon Billet


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